Published: Mon, October 01, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Dead, Hundreds Injured in Indonesia Quake-Tsunami

Dead, Hundreds Injured in Indonesia Quake-Tsunami

"We've got information from people that their relatives are still inside, so we're focusing on that, especially to find survivors", a rescuer identified as Yusuf, working at the ruins of the mall, told Metro TV.

The death toll, too, is based nearly entirely on victims in Palu city and not the harder to reach outlying settlements that were also badly hit.

Vice-President Jusuf Kalla said the final death toll could be thousands. Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the spokesman of the national disaster mitigation agency, told a news conference Sunday that 821 of those killed were in the hard-hit city of Palu.

"We will help residents to meet basic needs and provide other services such as counselling", the minister said. Communication is still down, power is still out.

Government officials said some 1,200 inmates fled from at least three prisons in the region.

Three French nationals and a South Korean, who may have been staying at a flattened hotel, had not yet been accounted for, it added. Numerous aftershocks have rattled the region.

"We have heard nothing from Donggala and this is extremely worrying", Gelfand said.

The government has allocated 560 billion rupiah ($37.58 million) for the recovery.

Anisah Firdaus Bandu's mother called her in tears from her hometown of Palu Friday evening when a magnitude 7.5 natural disaster jolted the island of Sulawesi in eastern Indonesia. Picture taken September 29, 2018. A quake in 2004 triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean that killed 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

Indonesia's search and rescue agency had complained that due to massive budget cuts, its tsunami warning system has not functioned properly for six years.

"Based on the videos circulating on social media, we estimate the tsunami happened before the warning officially ended", Triyono said.

It was not clear whether the tsunami, which officials say hammered Palu and the surrounding area at extremely high speeds measuring in the hundreds of kilometres per hour, occurred before or after the warning had been lifted.

Questions have been raised about what caused the tsunami, with speculation an underwater landslide was to blame.

An aerial view of the Baiturrahman mosque which was hit by a tsunami, after a quake in West Palu, Sulawesi.

Roads were blocked and communications disrupted with other cities.

Dramatic video footage captured from the top floor of a parking ramp in Palu, almost 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the quake's epicentre, showed waves bring down several buildings and inundate a large mosque. Footage showed some people screaming in anger because they were not able to board departing military aircraft. Hundreds more were feared buried in landslides that engulfed villages. "We have to do many things soon, but conditions do not allow us to do so".

He said there could be 50 people trapped inside.

An quake victim salvages useable items near a collapsed mosque in Palu, Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on October 1, 2018.

The head of Indonesia's investment board said Widodo had agreed to accept worldwide help and he would coordinate private-sector assistance from around the world.

He said global assistance should be "selective" and would focus on the 10 countries that had offered to provide it, which included Australia, the US, South Korea, China and Singapore. Authorities said that many others were caught on the beach while preparing a festival which set to start later in the day.

Soesatyo made the remarks here on Sunday, adding that the leadership of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) was very concerned because the residents of Donggala, Sigi, and Palu, who were affected by the disaster, until Saturday (Sept 29) night, had to sleep on the side of the road and on the open air.

Indonesia, which sits on the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire, is all too familiar with earthquakes and tsunamis.

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